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the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
iraq and afghanistan sooner than many here would like or that the president would like, and save substantial sums if we do that. most certainly if we're going to go forward with shared sacrifice, yes, we do have to ask billions, despite all of their power and all of their campaign contributions and all of their lobbying, maybe the billionaires who are doing phenomenally well may have to contribute to deficit reduction. yes, maybe those companies that stash their money in tax hyphens in pwerpld and the cayman eye hraldz -- in bermuda and the cayman islands, maybe they are going to have to start paying their fair share. on my web site which is sanders.senate.gov, i put a small letter which said to the president, mr. president, stand tall. take on these right-wing ideologues who want to make devastating cuts to working families. and in a couple of weeks we have 135,000 signatures on that letter, and i think that letter reflects what the american people want. they want shared sacrifice. they do not want to see the elderly, the kids or working families being battered more and more, es
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